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From the Blog

Five summer walks in South Devon with pubs along the way

Posted by Bethany Walton on Updated on
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Scenic routes, coastal views and seafood lunches

Now that the sun is shining and summer has well and truly arrived, there’s no better way to spend a day than exploring the beautiful coast paths and hidden routes around South Devon. With four-legged friends in tow, discover some of our much-loved coastal walks as well as the best places to stop off for a pint and a pub lunch on the way.


Hope Cove to South Milton Sands

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4 miles in total | Moderate | Approx. 45 minutes each way

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the South Hams, the pretty village of Hope Cove sits above golden sands and sparkling waters. Arrive mid-morning, just as the day begins to warm up and take a moment to enjoy the calm views over the beach as paddle boarders and swimmers take to the shallows.

Amble along the path, following the length of the beach and join the coast path just past the post office. From here, continue walking until you're high on the clifftops and enjoying views across to Burgh Island and Bigbury-on-Sea.

The coast path will soon take you through winding countryside where grazing ponies and sheep will welcome you as you walk. Within no time, the path levels out and reveals the breath-taking views over South Milton Sands, where dogs are welcome all year round – dip your toes in the calm waves to cool down and head back along the coast path feeling refreshed.

Arriving back into Hope Cove, find an outdoor table at the Hope and Anchor to refuel with a delicious pub lunch. Owned by St Austell Brewery, the Hope and Anchor offers a wide range of local ales and ciders, with a lunch menu comprising of fresh seafood, artisan baguettes and summer salads. Tuck in and watch the boats sail by before wandering back home to kick off your walking boots.

Where to stay nearby: Tamarisks


Salcombe to South Sands Beach

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3.5 miles in total | Easy | Approx. 40 minutes each way

One of Devon’s dreamiest locations, Salcombe is home to turquoise water, bobbing boats and pastel-coloured cottages lining the harbourfront. Begin the walk by parking at Shadycombe Car Park and wander along the narrow streets where independent bakeries and ice cream parlours sit around every corner.

Continue walking through the town and past the Salcombe yacht club, taking your time to enjoy stunning views over the estuary. Relatively flat with no steps or steep hills, this walk is perfectly suited to those with little ones and buggies – or just for those who’d like to take it easy in the warmth of the summer sun.

Due to its waterside location, the route is abundant in wildflowers and luscious palms making it feel almost tropical. Soon enough, the path begins to head downhill where white sands and shallow waters await - find a sunny spot and rest against the beach wall as the water laps against the small cove.

If hungry bellies call, head just over the road from the beach into The Winking Prawn to enjoy an al fresco lunch with views over the shore. Serving incredible locally caught seafood dishes, be sure to try the grilled mackerel and dressed crab for a light lunch before heading back.

If you’re planning a visit to Salcombe over the summer, the first week of August marks the return of its much-loved regatta. With flotilla displays, carnival processions, live music and street food pop-ups, a day spent here is not to be missed – take a seat on a bench in the harbour and enjoy a scoop of Devonshire ice cream as the sail boats race past.

Where to stay nearby: Waterside


Dartmouth to Sugary Cove

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2.6 miles in total | Easy | Approx. 30 minutes each way

Another idyllic harbourside town, Dartmouth sits just a little further around the coast from Salcombe and enjoys the addition of the Royal Naval College and its training fleet who can be regularly spotted on the water.

Begin walking along the ever-so-pretty promenade, enjoying views over the neighbouring Kingswear and its colourful houses on the coast. From here, continue along the pavements, winding through Dartmouth’s intricate lanes and streets. After a few minutes, the buzz of the town will be behind you as the path takes you towards the mouth of the river.

Every so often the scenery opens up and you’ll be treated to exceptional views stretching towards Dartmouth Castle and onto the open sea. Amble along Castle Road where leafy trees provide some welcoming shade on balmy afternoons. Before long, the route breaks off into a smaller path to the left where the beautiful Sugary Cove sits in a nook amongst the headland. Once on the sand at Sugary Cove, keep an eye out for bobbing seals who are known to visit the shores. 

Head back down the same route and be sure to make a pitstop at The Cherub Inn on your way back. Built in the 14th century, the pub is remarkable inside and out, feeling instantly welcoming with its period features and traditional décor. An independent free house, The Cherub Inn stocks some of Devon’s best independent cider and ales, while their menu celebrates traditional pub classics – perfect for refuelling after walks along the river.

For those visiting, read our recommendations for a trip to Dartmouth Castle and discover its fascinating history.


Wembury to Bovisand Beach

7 miles in total | Moderate | Approx. 1 hour each way

Known for its visiting dolphins in the small cove, Wembury is another delightful spot in South Devon. Not far from Plymouth, this village is lesser-known than its neighbours Bigbury-on-Sea and Hope Cove, and enjoys views over crystal-clear waters.

Best enjoyed in the late morning, join the coast path from Wembury Beach heading towards Bovisand Beach. Continue along the path and take in the sea views over to The Great Mew Stone as the waves crash against the cliffs below. With many hidden coves and lookout points along the way, this walk takes you around the headland over Westlake and Crownhill Bay. For avid wildlife watchers, be sure to pack your binoculars to spot nesting sea birds.

Soon enough, the path will descend into Bovisand Beach – a peaceful stretch of sand, perfect for a summer swim or exploring tidal rockpools. Once lunchtime rolls around, amble back along the cliff path and make a stop at The Eddystone Inn midway in Heybrook Bay. A local’s favourite, this gastropub makes the most of its incredible sea views with a delicious menu to match. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, tuck into a traditional roast lunch on the decking, or keep it light with their Thai fish cakes or crab tortellini. After a leisurely lunch, wander back over the clifftops towards Wembury and watch as kayakers weave in and out of the hidden caves that surround the bay.


Ringmore to Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island

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5 miles in total | Moderate | Approx. 1 hour each way

One of the most sought-after locations on our portfolio, Bigbury-on-Sea is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where its sunkissed sands are perfect for family holidays and beach days. To enjoy a walk around this scenic part of the county, start in Ringmore and follow the Avon Estuary Way through chocolate box villages and green lanes.

Challenge each other to be the first to ‘see the sea’ and before long you’ll be treated to incredible ocean vistas over the bay and across to Bantham Beach on the neighbouring headland. When the sun is shining, watch as the rays dance on the lapping waves and head down onto the beach to rest your legs. When the tide is out, walk barefoot along the sand and climb the steps to reach Burgh Island. Known for its literary links to Agatha Christie, the island is certainly worth an explore while in the area – though you’ll have to catch a lift on the sea tractor once the tide rolls in again.

Once back on dry land, continue along the same route as before, making sure to snap a photograph of the iconic Burgh Island when you reach the top of the coast path. Enjoy a laid back stroll before stopping off at The Journey’s End Inn on your return to Ringmore. A traditional 13th century pub, The Journey’s End Inn prides itself on serving wonderful Devonshire ales and a locally sourced menu. After a day soaking up the salty sea air, keep it simple with dayboat fish and chips or try their steamed Thai mussels.

Where to stay nearby: Avocet, Overcombe and Beachfront


With stays ready to book for 2023, take a closer look at our homes in South Devon and secure your next getaway.

For more inspiration, speak to our Concierge team to start planning your staycation: 01208 895 570

Image credits: all images are our own.


Posted by Bethany Walton

Beth can usually be found on a Cornish beach or enjoying a swim in the sea. She has great insight about where to visit across the county, plus plenty of recommendations for finding the best Cornish ice cream.

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